Fred Thompson apparently is about to get the boost he was hoping for in his troubled courtship of social conservatives. Citing anonymous Republican sources, the AP is reporting today that the National Right to Life Committee—the nation’s most prominent anti-abortion group with local chapters in all 50 states—will endorse the former Tennessee senator tomorrow morning.
While the organization refuses to discuss the pending announcement, its endorsement is seen as an acknowledgement of Thompson’s strong pro-life voting record while in the Senate. Campaigning in Iowa, Thompson had this to say about the annoucement, according to the AP:

“It speaks for itself,” an upbeat Thompson told reporters while campaigning here—even as he talked in hypothetical terms and declined to confirm the endorsement. “These are people who supported me in times past. I think it would be a perfectly natural thing to happen. I’ve had a 100 percent pro-life voting record in the United States Senate. And I think they know that, and that’s the way I would govern if I was president.”

The announcement comes at a critical time for Thompson. His polling numbers have slipped in Iowa and New Hampshire recently, and he was left in the cold last week when prominent Christian right groups were handing out endorsements to several of his GOP rivals. Despite his Senate voting record on abortion, and his conservative credentials generally, many evangelicals have been put off by Thompson’s refusal to back a constitutional amendment banning abortion. The NRLC’s endorsement should help polish his image among that important Republican constituency.


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